Canadian Market Sluggish Amid Cautious Moves

( - Canadian shares are swinging between gains and losses Monday morning, with traders largely staying cautious amid renewed worries about the outlook for global economic growth.

Data showing a shocking contraction in Chinese exports in December has raised concerns about the economic situation in China. Lower crude oil prices and concerns surrounding the ongoing U.S. government shutdown and Brexit are also weighing on sentiment.

The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index is down 6.85 points, or 0.05%, at 14,932.33. The index, which eased to 14,880.98 in early trades, recovered to 14,970.11 before retreating again.

Energy, materials, financial and consumer discretionary shares are turning in a mixed performance. Information technology shares are weak, while shares from industrials and telecommunications sections are finding support.

Goldcorp Inc. (G.TO) is climbing up 8.5%, buoyed by news that Newmont Mining Corp. is set to buy the company in a deal valued at $10 billion that will create the world's largest gold miner. Newmont and Goldcorp announced today that Newmont will exchange 0.328 of a share and two cents for each of Goldcorp's outstanding common shares. The combined company would be called Newmont Goldcorp and be owned 65% by current Newmont shareholders and 35% by Goldcorp shareholders.

Encana Corporation (ECA.TO) and Shaw Communications (SJR.B.TO) are gaining 1.5% and 3.7%, respectively.

Canopy Growth Corporation (WEED.TO) and Hexo Corp. (HEXO.TO) are both lower by about 1.6%. Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB.TO) is gaining 1.3% after the company announced that it has entered into a letter of intent to acquire all the issued and outstanding shares of privately held Whistler Medical Marijuana Corporation, in an all-share transaction valued at up to approximately $175 million.

Kinross Gold Corporation (K.TO) is down 2.3% and Hudbay Minerals Inc. (HBM.TO) is lower by 3.2%.

The U.S. market has recovered after initial weakness but still remain stuck in negative territory. The Nasdaq and the Dow are down 0.6% and 0.5%, respectively. The S&P 500 is lower by about 0.4%.

Concerns about the global economic outlook contributed to the initial early weakness on Wall Street following the release of disappointing Chinese trade data.

In markets elsewhere, Asian stocks ended lower on Monday as a shock contraction in Chinese exports and concerns surrounding the ongoing U.S. government shutdown and the vote on Brexit this week kept investors on the sidelines.

Investors were also wary of making significant moved ahead of the U.S. earnings season.

China's exports and imports in December declined at the worst rates in two years, adding to evidence of a rapid slowdown in the economy amid the trade war with the US and weakening global activity.

Exports dropped 4.4% year-on-year in December, figures from the General Administration of Customs showed on Monday. That was in contrast to the 3% gain economists had predicted. Imports decreased 7.6% from a year ago, defying expectations for a 5% rise.

Both exports and imports outcome was the worst since 2016. In December, the trade surplus was $57.1 billion.

European markets were mostly lower weighed by weak Chinese trade data and on concerns surrounding the ongoing U.S. government shutdown and Brexit.

Among the major markets in Europe, the U.K. and Switzerland suffered notable losses, with their benchmark indices declining by 0.8% and 0.85%, respectively. France and Germand were modestly lower.

In commodities, crude oil futures for February were down $0.11, or 0.21%, at $51.48 a barrel, coming off a low of $50.44.

Gold futures for February were up $0.75, or 0.06%, at $1,290.25 an ounce.

Silver futures for February were declining by $0.22, or 0.13%, at $15.634 an ounce, while Copper futures for February were down $0.037, or 1.4%, at $2.625 per pound.

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